I closed the previous post with this tip: If she nags, it shouldn’t be about his job, job habits, or whatever connected deprivations she may sense. Here’s another view of an old relationship issue.
One question plagues every woman, and many wives just have to have an answer. However, those wives drive a sharp wedge into their marriage. It happens because her anxiety turns one question into three disruptive ones. Does husband love me or his job the most? If me, why not more? If his job, why not me?
Husband senses and dodges the trap and responds to her questions with something like this: ‘You know you come first, but my job can’t be ignored if it’s to support us’. He intuitively knows better than to answer directly. He can’t answer the questions to her satisfaction and live through her likely reactions. If he says she’s first in his heart to the exclusion of his job, she looks for evidence but with a jaundiced eye. If he says ‘job first’, he’s condemned to the marital dungeon until she can find an option that generates more devotion, perhaps even another man.
Whatever the true answer might be, she won’t hear what she wants and her relationship will suffer. He can’t answer with what she wants to hear, and she can’t accept that as an answer. Thus, by merely asking the questions, she pushes their relationship into the competitive ring and sounds the bell for round one.
After the bell, she leads with blame. Finding his answer inadequate, she shifts to first blame his job. Then she blames him for not knowing how to manage his job so that she’s not so blatantly ignored. Her blame de-validates his role as husband so he seeks outside admiration and emphasizes his other role, his job. Thus, and even with the best of intentions, she stimulates the exact opposite of what she sought when first she felt shortchanged in the trifecta of wife, husband, and job.
Wives need to have faith that husband can serve two masters with fair if not equal devotion. They also need to be convinced that she and his job are balanced in husband’s heart so well and fair that she won’t be burdened unnecessarily if husband feels pressured to favor job first.
When wife gets involved trying to find answers to the three questions above, she effectively questions his allegiance, which questions his judgment, which questions his role as CEO at home. All that reduces his value, which lowers his conscientiousness, which weakens his interest, which makes wife less valuable. It’s a downward spiral that starts easily from lack of her faith in what he does and conviction about who he is.
Lacking such faith and conviction means that husband is or will eventually become inadequate in her eyes—either before or after she becomes the same to him.
Faith that she’s NOT number two and conviction that he’s the best she can do. Those are two more of the prices that women pay for compatibility. Faith and conviction keep them from further rocking the marital boat. The wisest wives strive to purposely and internally relieve their anxiety without getting hubby involved.
Of course, some husbands do love their jobs more. However, home life is much more harmonious and compatibility more stable if wife can live with suspicion and smother her anxiety.
Effort to assuage her anxiety by questioning husband is self-defeating. Wiser wives know this: Compatibility is served when wife has faith that husband can serve two masters—her and his job—with fair if not equal devotion. Husband naturally believes that. She also convinces herself that she and his job are balanced fairly if not equally in husband’s heart. He believes that too. They are very different creatures, and in this case, wife inherits naturally the interest and burden to close the gap.